Loan Forgiveness (PDF download)

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					Loan Forgiveness
Each new school year brings
high hopes, great expectations
                                        Assigning Eff
and challenges for both new             Homework

and seasoned educators.
    e American Federation
of Teachers (AFT) has
developed a series called
Classroom Tips to help                                      Use
                                              Modern Techno s of

educators start the year
o right and anticipate
the year ahead.               Building

Classroom Tips is
developed with you,
the educator, in mind.
    e tips in this collec                            Creating a
                                                     Classroom Tea
tion are taken from real
classroom experiences
and are part of the
AFT’s Educational
Research and Dissemination
(ER&D) professional
development program.

    e AFT is a leader in providing
educators the resources they need to help them
succeed. Visit AFT’s Web site for classroom
resources at
         ecoming a teacher takes years of
         higher education and hard work. The
         financial and personal costs can be
         great. The good news is that there are
more chances than ever for teachers-in-training
and new teachers to reduce their financial
There are two main ways students can get
financial aid: with loans and with grants. Many
students take on debt in the form of loans. There
is some financial relief if you plan to teach
certain subjects or teach in schools designated
as low-income.

2 | AFT
Under the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Program, teachers may be eligible for forgive-
ness of up to $5,000 if they teach for five years in
low-income schools and meet other require-
ments, and up to $17,500 if they teach in certain
specialties. There are several federal programs
you should know about.*

Stafford Loan Forgiveness
Program for Teachers
To be eligible, you first have to receive a Stafford
Loan. You can get a Stafford Loan either through
the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
Program or the William D. Ford Federal Direct
Loan Program. Additionally, you must be
employed for at least five consecutive, complete
years as a full-time teacher in an elementary or
secondary school designated as a low-income
school. To find out if a school is designated as
low-income, call 800/4FED-AID or visit www. and click on Search. Other eligibility
requirements may prohibit you from participat-
ing in the forgiveness program. For a full list of
eligibility requirements, visit http://studentaid.
There are two ways to be eligible for up to
$17,500 in Stafford Loan forgiveness:

■ Meet the highly qualified designation set by
  the No Child Left Behind Act as a full-time
  mathematics or science teacher in a second-
  ary school; or
■ Meet the highly qualified designation set by
  the No Child Left Behind Act as a full-time
*We list these programs here to provide an overview of the options
and eligibility requirements to receive loan forgiveness. These
federal programs are complex and may be difficult to understand
fully. Be sure to contact your local loan provider with any questions
you may have about your eligibility. They will be able to help you.

                                                    Classroom Tips | 3
    special education teacher whose main job is
    providing special education to children with
There are two ways to be eligible for loan forgive-
ness of up to $5,000, depending on when you
began teaching:
■ If your five years of qualifying teaching service
  in a low-income school began before Oct. 30,
  2004, and you were a full-time elementary
  school teacher who demonstrated knowledge
  and teaching skills in the elementary school
  curriculum, or you were a full-time secondary
  school teacher who taught in an area relevant
  to your academic major; or
■ If your five years of qualifying teaching ser-
  vice began after Oct. 30, 2004, and you were
  a highly qualified full-time elementary or
  secondary school teacher.

Federal Perkins
Loan Cancellation
Program for
This program qualifies
teachers for cancellation of
their federal Perkins Loan if
they meet a number of
eligibility requirements.
Eligible teachers must have
served full time in a public or
nonprofit elementary or
secondary school system as:
■ A teacher in a school
  serving students from
  low-income families; or
■ A special education
  teacher, including teach-

4 | AFT
  ers of infants, toddlers, children or youth with
  disabilities; or
■ A teacher in the fields of mathematics, sci-
  ence, foreign languages or bilingual educa-
  tion, or in any other field a state has deter-
  mined has a shortage of qualified teachers.
Perkins Loan cancellation depends on the
number of years of teaching service, based on
the following schedule:
For a full-time teacher:
■ 15 percent for each of years one and two;
■ 20 percent for each of years three and four;
■ 30 percent for year five and each successive

                                       Classroom Tips | 5
For a full-time special education teacher:
■ 15 percent for each year of service.
For a full list of eligibility requirements visit

TEACH Grant Program
Through the College Cost Reduction and Access
Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher
Education Assistance for College and Higher
Education (TEACH) Grant Program that pro-
vides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students
who intend to teach in a public or private ele-
mentary or secondary school that serves stu-
dents from low-income families. For more
information about the TEACH Grant Program,
contact the financial aid office at the college
where you are enrolled.
In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, recipi-
ents must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a
high-need field in a public or private elementary
or secondary school that serves low-income
students. TEACH Grant recipients must teach for
at least four academic years within eight calendar
years of completing the program of study for
which you received a TEACH Grant. For a full list
of eligibility requirements visit http://studentaid.

Public Service
Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
began in 2007 as a result of the College Cost
Reduction and Access Act. Eligible borrowers are
entitled to have the entirety of their debt (inter-
est and principal) discharged after ten years of

6 | AFT
full time employment in public service.       e
borrower must have made 120 payments as part
of the Direct Loan program in order to obtain
this bene t. Only payments made on or after
October 1, 2007, count toward the required 120
monthly payments. Borrowers are permitted to
consolidate into Direct Lending in order to
qualify for this loan forgiveness program. For
a full list of eligibility requirements visit
In addition to the federal loan forgiveness
programs, many states o er their own nancial
incentives to attract talented people to teaching.
    ese incentives come in the form of grants, loan
forgiveness and other nancial incentives for
committing to teach, often in high-needs areas.

 For a complete list of funding opportunities,
   including state loan forgiveness programs,
                                     Classroom Tips | 7
Five Great Reasons to
Join a Union of Professionals

The American Federation of Teachers:

          Supports you in the classroom. Effective
          learning only takes place when high-quality
          teachers, with the support of other compe-
          tent professionals, have the materials and
          assistance needed to accomplish the task.
          Your union is a strong advocate for quality
          classroom materials that are aligned to the
          standards of achievement we expect our
          students to meet. We also insist that state and
          district assessments for measuring student
          progress are aligned with these standards
          and that the assessments be used appropri-
          ately to support student learning.

          Helps you prepare. No matter how well
          prepared you may have been before enter-
          ing the classroom, there is always room for
          improvement. Ongoing professional devel-
          opment that meets you at your point of need
          is vital for continued growth as an educator.
          The AFT and its affiliates deliver some of the
          finest professional development programs
          available; and in situations where ours are
          not available, we advocate and broker for you
          to receive the best training possible.

          Stands up for you. Whether the discus-
          sion is taking place in the White House, in
          the halls of Congress, on the floor of your
          statehouse, in colleges of education or in
          your local editorial pages, you can be sure
          that union representatives are weighing in
          assertively, ensuring that the collective voice
          of educators comes through clearly and

8 | AFT
    Advocates for your profession. No one
    enters the teaching profession without a
    strong desire to help children reach their
    potential. Yet, at times the realities of life
    make this calling difficult to stick with.
    Adequate salaries and benefits are essential
    in order to keep the best teachers, parapro-
    fessionals and support staff in our public
    schools. Working conditions such as man-
    ageable class sizes, adequate teaching mate-
    rials, and discipline policies that support
    teaching and enhance student learning are
    important factors in ensuring that the best
    teachers remain in the classroom.

    Keeps you informed. American Educator
    is one of the most highly respected journals
    available to keep you informed on current
    thinking in public education by some of the
    most capable thinkers and doers in the field.
    American Teacher will keep you on top of the
    challenges and successes of your colleagues
    across the country. And a host of optional
    publications, as well as a comprehensive
    Web site that will assist you in addressing the
    particular needs of your school and class-
    room, provide the balance of a professional
    literature package that is second to none.

                                     Classroom Tips | 9
American Federation of Teachers, afl-cio
       555 New Jersey Ave. N.W.
        Washington, DC 20001
           Item no. 39-0090B

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